19 million tons collected and 96% of them are not dangerous

19 million tons collected and 96% of them are not dangerous
19 million tons collected and 96% of them are not dangerous

He Ministry of Environment announced that the country produces annually nearly 19.6 million tons of waste, of this figure, 96.7% is classified as non-hazardousa fact that has a significant character in terms of recycling in our country.

The most recycled materials in Chile are cardboard and packaging paper with 44.2%, while the glass recycling rate reaches 33%, followed by aluminum which represents 14%.

According to the dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Sciences and Technology of the Bernardo O’Higgins University (UBO), Katherine Delgado, Of the total non-hazardous recycled material, only 80% is eliminated, while the remaining 20% ​​is subjected to recovery processes. Statistic that has not changed much since 2015.

Although, in 2018, these valuation processes have increased slightly to 22%, Most waste continues on its way to landfills or landfills, requiring a more effective response in waste management and recycling policies.”, highlighted the academic.

He explained that, “regarding plastics, PET, used mainly in beverage bottles, has a recycling rate of 19%. Polyethylene, present in products such as bags and drums, accounts for 27%.”

These figures can respond to the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility Law (REP) and the creation of the Recycling Fund, whose objective is to improve the segregation, collection and recovery of waste.

However, the academic assured that Policies are still lacking for the country to advance towards sustainability and the culture of recycling to be established in society.

For example, an obstacle is the insufficient infrastructure and financing: “The construction and maintenance of adequate facilities for the processing of recyclable materials require substantial investments that have not been carried out optimally, limiting the necessary expansion and modernization,” the academic mentions.

To the above, there is still one lack of awareness and adequate information about recyclingthis is the absence of effective educational programs and awareness campaigns.

Therefore, to move towards sustainability, The academic suggests facing these two obstacles through investment in the expansion and modernization of recycling infrastructure.this is collection, separation and processing of waste.

Besides, fund educational programs on recycling, teaching proper waste segregation practices and highlighting its environmental benefits

Finally, Delgado maintains that Promoting the circular economy is essential, encouraging companies to incorporate sustainable production practicesas well as reviewing current legislation for more solid waste management in line with current times.

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